Tag Archives: brunch

9 Tips for Fool-Proof Party & Menu Planning

5 Mar

Do you know that I really like planning small events? Now, when I say plan, what I mean is I think of small events to have for a particular occasion or no occasion at all. For some reason it is in me to entertain people at home or a small intimate space. I don’t really know why. We didn’t do a lot of that while I was growing up; besides family gatherings and holidays. But, ever since I’ve became an adult I always want to plan parties and get-togethers. Mostly, I want people to come over and enjoy each other’s company, eat some good food and, have some fun.

Speaking of good food….Is brunch the new greatness?  Everyone is hosting brunch lately. Everyday on social media, in magazines and is local papers is a brunch social event. It’s crazy! But, I love it. I think I should host one…..  The menu options are almost endless when planning a brunch because it’s literally BREAKFAST AND LUNCH. And, lunch is basically dinner’s twin that was born a few hours earlier sooooooo, I’m all in!

This year it is one of my goals to have people over at least 2 times during the spring and summer months and at least once for the holidays. Nothing big. I just want to enjoy my friends and family at home.

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I feel like entertaining at home is a lost art. It seems as though a lot of hanging out and getting together is being done everywhere but at home. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy meeting up, going to events, and hanging out for a bit. But, when you can host people at your home it can be a little more relaxed and non-obligatory for guests to make an investment in your event unless they choose to by offering to bring a dish, beverage or, surprising you with a hostess gift.

So, as the spring season is nearing I am putting together a delightful menu for a nice weekend brunch with a few of our friends and loved ones. Today I am sharing with you  9 Tips for Fool-Proof Party and Menu Planning and a Spring Brunch Menu idea for your next event or get-together.

Spring Brunch Menu

Very Easy Broccoli & Ham Quiche

 I’m addicted to carbs! Cheesy Potatoes or any breakfast potato,

French Toast Casserole & Warm Maple Syrup,

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins,

Fresh Berries or Fruit Kabobs,

Chicken Apple Sausage Links and Pork Sausage Patties,

Orange Juice, Mimosas, Water, Coffee,

Lemon Lime or Ginger Sodas (in case of illness)

Everything above can be partially or completely prepared the day before. This is a great way to prepare for your event. Making a menu that can be prepared a day in advance gives you more time to prepare for your event the day of.

9 Tips for Fool-Proof Party and Menu Planning

  1. Plan your guest list and any possible dietary restrictions. Send out invites.
  2. Create an enticing menu for everyone.
  3. Draft organized shopping lists for your event. Shop.
  4. Mentally prepare a order of food service (courses or buffet style).
  5. Chop, cut, slice, mix, cook and bake anything that be prepared the day before.
  6. Decorate the night before.
  7. Set up a hot & cold beverage station complete with glasses, mugs, spoons, napkins, pitchers, ice bucket &, tongs.
  8. Day of: warm all prepared foods, cook breakfast meats, fill beverage station with cold and hot options including water.
  9. RELAX, HAVE FUN. ENJOY YOUR GUEST.

Using these tips will assist in your event being stress free, your guest being excited, happy and, full. Each one of them will be looking forward to your next flawless event.

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How do you prepare for your parties and events? Are you planning any for 2018? Tell me!

Be sure to also check out the recipes for Very Easy Broccoli & Ham Quiche and I’m addicted to carbs! Cheesy Potatoes. These are both great recipes for groups.

I hope you all have a very great week!

Talk to you soon xoxo,

Kim Cherie

Very Easy Broccoli & Ham Quiche

25 Feb

img_2252-1There are so many egg based dishes to be made and eaten.  And, they all look delicious….except for sunny side up eggs with the runny yolk….Uh, that’s definitely a big no-thank you from me on that.  I remember I had to make a sunny side up egg for Home Economics class in the 9th grade. And, the yolk had to be just right and runny for me to get 100%. Well, I did get 100% but, I didn’t want that egg as my reward. That was probably the one time I passed up on eating in Home Ec. And, believe me I always looked forward to that class. Outside of that I think I would be willing to try other egg dishes such as an egg soufflé’, hollandaise sauce, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos.

By the way I do not like eggs….. I only eat eggs scrambled; hard, as an omelette or, in a quiche. None of those things do I want everyday but there are days when I just have a craving for a something with eggs. My only reason for not liking eggs I think is because my mother didn’t like eggs so, she didn’t cook eggs. And, I never learned to love or want them.

But, I do like this quiche. I especially liked this one I made for today. I normally shred my own cheeses when I cook. There are only a couple of exceptions when I don’t. When I make quiche is one of those exceptions. So, I bought the shredded cheese with the cream cheese blended in. I think the cream cheese gave the quiche a smoother taste.

This quiche is so easy to assemble and bake. It is perfect for a quick breakfast or brunch item or a food gift. And, your meat and veggie filling options are endless. I chose the broccoli and ham because, I love broccoli. The ham was already cooked and cubed and I just had to throw it in the pan. You add the eggs, milk and cheese and bake for 45-55 minutes and then you have a hot pie with melty cheese and eggs with your most loved veggies and meat options. The pie is absolutely satisfying and I am encouraging you to bake and take one to your next gathering.

Ham & Broccoli Quiche

Ingredients

1 9-10 inch frozen pie crust (thawed)

2 cups shredded cheese

4 eggs

1 cup whole milk or half & half

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 to 3/4 cups cubed ham

1 broccoli bunch rinsed, cut and, chopped into small pieces (saving one larger piece for a top garnish)

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

On a large cookie sheet place a large piece of parchment, wax paper or aluminum foil. This will protect your cookie sheet when the filling over flows while baking. (You will thank me later.)

Place the thawed pie crust on top of the cookie sheet and with a fork, poke holes all over the pie crust.

Partially bake the pie crust in the oven for 10-12minutes. Just to barely brown it and get the crust firm.

Remove the crust from the oven.

Leave the pie crust on the cookie sheet while assembling the quiche.

In a large bowl beat eggs with a fork or wire whisk.

Add in the black pepper and sea salt.

Mix in the whole milk or half & half with the eggs.

Place a light layer of shredded cheese on the bottom of the pie crust.

Next spread the cubed ham over the light layer of cheese.

Add the broccoli on top of the cheese and ham layers.

Slowly pour the egg milk mixture into the filled pie crust.

Cover the cheese, ham and broccoli with the remaining cheese.

Place the assembled quiche in the oven and bake for 35 minutes uncovered.

After 35 minutes lightly with aluminum foil and bake 15-20 more minutes and check for doneness.

Quiche is fully cooked when it is firmly set. You can also check for doneness with a butter knife by sliding a butter knife into the center of the baked quiche and if it comes out clean it is done.

Poke holes in the thawed pie crust using a fork.

Partially bake the plain crust in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Add a light layer of cheese to the bottom of the partially baked crust.

Now layer in the cubed ham.

And, the cut up broccoli.

Carefully pour in the milk and egg mixture into the filled pie crust.

Top the quiche with the remaining cheese and bake 45-55 minutes.

This is why you will want to line the baking pan. Save your oven and your cookie sheet.

Let your quiche rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

This quiche can serve 6-8 people.

Enjoy.

See ya next time,

Kim Cherie

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Favorite Cookbook Friday #5 with Spicy Chicken Salad

11 Feb

My 5th selection for Favorite Cookbook Friday is LaBelle Cuisine (Recipes to Sing About) by Patti LaBelle with Laura B. Randolph. I received this book as a Christmas gift from my mother many years ago. This is how my collection began. Although this wasn’t the first book in my collection, it was a very early entry to my catalog. 

LaBelle Cuisine was Ms. Patti’s first cookbook, first published in 1999. On the book jacket Ms. Patti writes: “From the time I was a little girl, I knew there were two things in the world I was born to do: sing and cook.” Well, if you were born on planet Earth you know Patti LaBelle can S.I.N.G. Period…. And we also learned she can burn in the kitchen too. In her book she highlights all memories of cooking for loved ones, close friends and family…. Which is what probably let to the cookbooks. And now, for more than a year everyone has been talking about her Sweet Potato Pies and her other bakery items now being sold in grocery stores. Although I haven’t tried one myself, I do know that at one point the stores could not keep the pies on the shelves. I think that is a good sign. She knows what she’s doing when it comes to satisfying the belly.

As I was looking through this book millionth time, I could not help but to get excited to try the recipes that I had not tried before. Recipes I did not think I was interested in because my palate had not known those tastes. Now I’m ready for more. I’m so glad that my taste buds have matured with me! 

Some of my favorites from LaBelle Cuisine.

  • Bodacious Barbecue Sauce
  • Zuri’s Favorite Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
  • Home Fried Potatoes 
  • Heavenly Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Anna’s Irresistible Pound Cake
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Company’s Coming Chicken Salad

…. and there are many more in this gold mine I can’t wait to taste!Can you see my handwritten notes on Chicken Salad?

You will understand my enthusiasm when you try today’s recipe, Company’s Coming Chicken Salad.  A recipe so tasty that you won’t want to share with company. (Laughing but very serious).
    Company’s Coming Chicken Salad 

Serve on bread for sandwiches at lunch or with crackers for a snack.


Raw chicken never looks good but, this is where the magic begins for this palate pleaser. 

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides before placing in the stock pot.

Cover the chicken with the large pieces of celery, onion, green pepper and bay leaf. Put enough water in the pot to cover the chicken.

To prepare the chicken:

  • 4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3-4 pounds)
  • 1/2 onion cut into large chunks
  • 2-3 celery tops and bottoms cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 green bell pepper cut into large chunks
  • 3-4 bay leaf
  • salt
  • ground black pepper 

enough water to cover the seasoned chicken in a large stock pot (6-8 cups)Place the top on the pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes.


While the chicken is cooking go ahead and cut up the veggies.

When the chicken is ready….

Shred each chicken breast using 2 forks.

Transfer the shredded chicken to a bowl large enough to mix all the ingredients together.

Throw in all the vegetables!

Next, add in the mayo and the salad dressing.

Give it a thorough stir.

Cover and refrigerate, if you can. I have to have some now. (My belly will be happy)




    For the salad:

    • shredded chicken, from 4 chicken breast halves
    • 1/2 large red onion, cut into a small dice
    • 2 medium celery ribs, cut into small dice
    • 1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon dill relish
    • 1 tablespoon sweet relish
    • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño 
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon poppy seed
    • 1/2-3/4 cup real mayonnaise
    • 1/2-3/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
    • paprika (for garnish)
    • leaf lettuce leaves (for garnish)

    Place the seasoned chicken, large pieces of onion, celery, green bell pepper and bay leaf in a large stock pot. Add just enoug cold water to cover the chicken. Place a top on the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer the chicken for at least 20 minutes or until there are no signs of pink when pierced at the thickest part of the breast. Take the chicken breast one at a time from the pot. Remove and discard the skin and bones Shred the chicken using two forks until there are no large pieces.  Transfer all the shredded chicken into a very large bowl.

    In the same large bowl combine the chicken with the diced onion, green bell pepper, celery, minced garlic, relishes, jalapeño, crushed red pepper flakes and, poppy seed. Stir in 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/2 cup Miracle Whip. If more is needed, add in a little at a time of each in equal amounts to desired consistency is reached. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or, even better over night. 

    *When ready to serve place a whole lettuce leaf on a small salad plate as a garnish. Next using a serving scoop place the nicely formed chicken salad on top of the leaf lettuce. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with your favorite crackers.

    Favorite Cookbook Friday #3 with Muffins of Blueberries!

    27 Jan

    What can I say about blueberry muffins? Oh, I know! “I LOVE THEM!”….. But let me be honest, my favorite recipe for Blueberry muffins comes from a box of Betty Cocker blueberry muffin mix with the can of “blueberries”inside…  Yes, it’s true. That is a box of absolute goodness. When the makers of Betty Crocker developed that recipe they created magic. Later, they decided to sell a mix with twice the berries and that made breakfast at my house double delicious. Fast forward some years and now we discard the can of syrup and “blueberries” and add in a pint of fresh ones. 


    Still, I have insisted on making muffins from scratch. To see if I can find a recipe just as satisfying to me as Betty Crocker. My search for a good recipe has brought out a few of my favorite cookbooks off the shelves and on the kitchen table for experimentations.  This week I have made 100 muffins. Yes that is correct, 100. I baked and gave away several dozen muffins this week and most recipients thanked me with eyes of excitement. I’m still holding on to my original favorite recipe (the box). This recipe will be the second place winner. 

    This weeks recipe and cookbook selection comes from a book titled “The Muffin Lady” written by Linda Fisher with Andrew Marton. The booked is loaded with recipe after recipe of muffins. Included in the pages are recipes of cupcakes, quick breads, and cookies, and icings. My favorite recipes in her book are the pancakes, chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies and, today’s feature BLUEBERRY MUFFINS. From beginning to end this book is amazing. She shares her recipes,why she was baking muffins in a fire station kitchen and, some of her life story. I connected with her on so many things, baking and selling food products to make ends meet, single parenting and, the obstacles from or for both but, I digress.

    Let me go ahead a share this recipe:

    Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine both in the large bowl. 

    Stir until just combined.

    Add in the freshness of blueberries!

    Gently fold them in. Be careful not to overmix.Divide the batter evenly in the muffin pans.

            Bake till done. 20-25 minutes.

             Blueberry Blueberry Muffins 

    Ingredients:

       4 cups rounded all purpose flour 

      2 cups granulated sugar  

       2 tablespoons baking powder

       2 teaspoons salt

       4 large eggs

       1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

      1 stick butter melted

       1 1/2 cups whole milk

       2 teaspoons vanilla extract

       2 pints fresh blueberries *at least*                  

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Rinse and drain the blueberries in a colander or mesh strainer.
    3. In a very large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and, salt. 
    4. Make a well in the center.
    5. Beat the lightly beat the eggs just to break them down.
    6. To the dry mix add in the wet ingredients: milk, eggs, oil, butter and vanilla.
    7. Hand mix the wet and dry ingredients just till combined. The batter will be lumpy. Don’t over mix. Be sure to reach the bottom when combining. 
    8. Fold in the blueberries.
    9. Place muffin paper liners in standard size muffin pans. 
    10. Evenly distribute the muffin batter among the pans using a muffin/cupcake size portion scoop.
    11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, till the edges are browned and tops are just browned and firm to the touch.

    Serve warm with butter or cool to room temperature and share later.

    *recipe makes at least 30 muffins*

    What’s your favorite muffin recipe? Does your favorite start in a box too? Let me know in the comments.

    Questions or comments let me know!

    Thank you for stopping by.



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